Review – The Vinland Sagas (Penguin)

My final completed book for 2013.

The Vinland Sagas: The Norse Discovery of AmericaThe Vinland Sagas: The Norse Discovery of America by Anonymous
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a pair of fascinating accounts of the Viking voyages to North America some 400-odd years before Columbus’ voyages. Interesting in their own right, they are helped with an excellent introduction by translators Magnus Mangusson. Comprising about 1/3 of this slim volume, it puts the voyages into a broad context which adds greatly to the experience. It gives a brief account of the settlement of Iceland and the beginnings of the doomed Norse outposts on Greenland.

While the translations move the genealogies to the footnotes, it’s worth making the effort to read these as well. The cadence of the recitations help give yu a glimpse of these sagas in their proper context; to be recited in a feast-hall by a thunder-voiced skald.

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